Apple is overhauling the way customers make appointments to get their Mac or iPhone looked at. The new initiative is named "Concierge" claims a report from 9to5Mac, and will use algorithms to rank technical issues by importance, with a new text message system letting customers know exactly when an assistant is ready to help them. As 9to5Mac puts it: "Apple Stores will operate essentially like restaurants that provide diners with pagers and wait times instead of holding empty tables while people are waiting."
Under the current system, customers are seen on a first-come, first-served basis, but this means appointments can be delayed without warning if individuals run over their allotted time. Using Concierge, customers will have their technical issues logged on an iPad, with the new algorithm sorting these by priority and issuing customers with an initial appointment time via text. Individuals can then leave the store if they want, with an automated text reminding them later when to head back for their appointment. A third text will then let them know exactly when their designated technician is free and where they're located in the store. The system is set to launch in the US in the week beginning March 9th, and will hopefully reduce both crowding and wait time in Apple's stores.
The new initiative is being spearheaded by Angela Ahrendts, the former Burberry CEO who joined Apple in April 2014 to head up the "direction, expansion, and operation" of the company's retail presence. As well as growing the company's market in China, Ahrendts is reportedly working with Jony Ive to redesign Apple Stores in preparation for the Apple Watch.